Kevin Kolb: Cardinals QB Investment Is Not Paying Dividends

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Kevin Kolb: Cardinals QB Investment Is Not Paying Dividends
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There was an interesting mix of criticism and optimism when the Arizona Cardinals traded for Kevin Kolb.

On one hand, the Cardinals believed they were filling a serious void at quarterback.

From 2007-2009, Kurt Warner led the team to a 24-18 record and a Super Bowl appearance, averaging 3918 passing yards and 28 touchdowns per season in his three seasons as the starter. The Cardinals offense averaged 25 points a game in that span.

In 2010, the committee of Derek Anderson, John Skelton, and Max Hall combined for just 10 passing touchdowns, the second lowest total in the league. The offense, as a whole, managed only 18 points a game.

There was palpable excitement within the fan base. According to the Tuscon Citizen, 13,000 Cardinals fans showed up to Kolb’s first Saturday scrimmage and autograph session with the team.

On the flip side of the deal, Arizona gave up Pro-Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft choice in 2012 for Kolb, who had started in only seven NFL games previously.

Halfway through his first season as a starter, Kolb and the Cardinals are 2-6 despite facing one of the weakest first-half schedules. Their first eight opponents combined for a 28-37 record.

In his defense, the Cardinals defense is ranked 29th in passing yards allowed, 16th in rushing yards allowed, and 23rd in points allowed. They are also ranked 23rd in turnovers forced.

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Kolb has also been sacked an average of three times a game, the second highest rate in the league. That raises the argument of whether he holds the ball too long or if his offensive line isn't very good.

That certainly doesn't excuse Kolb's poor pay to play ratio. A five-year, $63.5 million contract with $21 million guaranteed doesn't amount to the numbers he has put up so far.

Here’s where Kolb stands among QBs in 2011:

  • 16th in passing yards per game (244)
  • 12th in passing yards per attempt (7.52)
  • 29th in completion percentage (56.8)
  • Tied for 11th in passing touchdowns (8)
  • Tied for 5th in interceptions (8)
  • 23rd in passer rating (77.8)

What’s worse is that his production has been meager despite possessing elite talents at wide receiver and running back.

Larry Fitzgerald has racked up the second most receiving yards and third most touchdown catches in the NFL since coming into the league in 2004. He ranks seventh in receiving yards (646) this season. Beanie Wells has been a scoring machine this year with seven rushing touchdowns.

It also doesn’t look like Kolb is going to be facing his former team either.  As I write this article, a lingering toe injury has him labeled as doubtful for this Sunday's game against the Eagles.

Cardinals fans cannot be too happy with their quarterback of the future, or their front office for signing him to such a long-term, big-money deal.

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